• synonyms


[ mal-it ]
/ ˈmæl ɪt /


a hammerlike tool with a head commonly of wood but occasionally of rawhide, plastic, etc., used for driving any tool with a wooden handle, as a chisel, or for striking a surface.
the wooden implement used to strike the balls in croquet.
Polo. the long-handled stick, or club, used to drive the ball.


baton, business, staff, club, rod, spice, sap, cudgel, works, bludgeon, mace, blackjack, truncheon, hammer, nightstick, quarterstaff, hickory, shillelagh, billy, swatter

Nearby words

mallenders, malleoincudal, malleolar, malleolus, malleotomy, mallet, mallet finger, malleus, mallia, malling, mallon

Origin of mallet

1375–1425; late Middle English maillet < Middle French, equivalent to mail maul + -et -et Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mallet

British Dictionary definitions for mallet


/ (ˈmælɪt) /


a tool resembling a hammer but having a large head of wood, copper, lead, leather, etc, used for driving chisels, beating sheet metal, etc
a long stick with a head like a hammer used to strike the ball in croquet or polo
mainly US a very large powerful steam locomotive with a conventional boiler but with two separate articulated engine units

Word Origin for mallet

C15: from Old French maillet wooden hammer, diminutive of mail maul (n)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for mallet



late 14c., from Old French maillet "mallet, small wooden hammer, door-knocker," diminutive of mail, from Latin malleus "a hammer," from PIE *mal-ni-, from root *mele-, *mel- "to crush, grind," with derivatives referring to ground material and tools for grinding (cf. Hittite mallanzi "they grind;" Armenian malem "I crush, bruise;" Greek malakos "soft," mylos "millstone;" Latin molere "to grind," mola "millstone, mill," milium "millet;" Old English melu "meal, flour;" Albanian miel "meal, flour;" Old Church Slavonic meljo, Lithuanian malu "to grind;" Old Church Slavonic mlatu, Russian molotu "hammer").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper